The team's former punter, Chris Kluwe, writing for Deadspin, believes he was fired for his gay rights activism. But he knows what team coach Mike Priefer said to him.
Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue—some didn't agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was "messed up."
Priefer claims Kluwe is lying. The Vikings insist they fired Kluwe based on his performance, not his gay rights activism, but say they will "review the matter" of the coach's homophobic remarks and will have further comment.